Skip to content
Benefits of Residential Solar Electricity. 15000 kwh solar system

Benefits of Residential Solar Electricity. 15000 kwh solar system

    Is a 10kW solar system right for your home?

    As the cost of solar continues to get cheaper, more people are choosing to install larger solar system sizes. This has led to 10 kilowatt (kW) solar systems becoming an increasingly popular solar solution for large homes and small offices.

    A 10kW solar system is still a significant investment and you might not even need that much power! In this article, we take a closer look to see if a 10kW solar system is the right size for you.

    How much does an average 10kW solar system cost?

    As of January 2023, a 10kW solar energy system will cost about 30,000 before incentives, based on the average cost of solar in the U.S. When you take the federal tax credit into account, that price drops to about 21,000.

    It’s important to keep in mind that solar system pricing varies from state to state. In some areas, additional state or utility-based solar rebates may reduce the installation cost even more.

    The following table outlines the average cost of a 10kW solar system in different states, so you can get an idea of how much solar could cost in your area.

    California 26,800 18,760
    Florida 26,100 18,270
    Texas 27,700 19,390
    North Carolina 24,900 17,430
    Arizona 26,700 18,690
    New Jersey 27,800 19,460
    Massachusetts 28,700 20,090
    Georgia 23,300 16,310
    New York 28,600 20,020

    Find out how much a 10kW solar system costs in your area

    How much electricity does a 10kW solar system produce?

    A 10kW solar system can produce between 11,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) to 15,000 kWh of electricity per year.

    How much power a 10kW system will actually produce varies, depending on where you live. Solar panels in sunnier states, like New Mexico, will produce more electricity than solar panels in states with less sunlight, like Massachusetts.

    Can a 10kW solar system power a home?

    Yes, a 10kW solar panel system will cover the average American household’s energy usage of about 10,715 kWh of electricity per year.

    However, your home’s energy needs could be quite different than the average American household. In fact, energy consumption varies a lot between states. Homes in Wyoming and Louisiana, for instance, tend to use more electricity than homes in other states. So while a 10kW solar array might be perfect for a home in Louisiana, it might be too big for a home in a state like New York, which uses much less electricity on average.

    10kW solar systems do produce enough electricity that you could go off-grid. The only thing is you would also have to install solar battery storage to store the excess electricity a 10kW off-grid solar system produces.

    How much can you save on your electric bill with a 10kW solar power system?

    Based on the average electric rate and usage in the U.S., the average homeowner can save around 125 per month with a solar system that’s designed to cover all of their energy consumption. That’s about 1,500 per year in solar savings!

    In almost all scenarios, a solar panel system will significantly lower your utility bill. How much a solar system will actually save you can vary widely from state to state. This is because your electric bill depends on:

    • How much energy your panels produce
    • How much electricity costs
    • The net metering policy in your state

    For example, a 10kW solar system that generates 1,000 kWh in a month in Florida would save you about 110 on your monthly electric bill. If a system installed in Massachusetts produced the same amount of solar energy. 1,000- kWh. it would save you 190 a month on your power bill.

    The difference in savings is due to the fact that electricity is substantially more expensive in Massachusetts than it is in Florida.

    How long does it take for a 10kW solar system to pay for itself?

    The average payback period for a 10kW system can be anywhere from 8 years to 20 years, depending on where you live.

    Your location impacts how much your system costs, how much electricity the system produces, and how much the system will save you. all factors which influence the payback period.

    Your return on investment could be even better if you live in an area with additional solar rebates like solar renewable energy credits (SRECs).

    How many solar panels make up a 10kW solar system?

    A 10kW rooftop solar system will need between 25 and 27 solar panels. The actual number of solar panels it takes to make a 10kW solar PV system depends on the wattage of the solar panels.

    For example, if you install 300-watt solar panels, you’ll need 34 panels to make a 10kW system. If you use panels with a higher power rating, like 400-watt panels, you’ll only need 25 panels to reach 10kW in size.

    This is a lot of solar panels, so you’re going to need a lot of roof space in order to install a 10kW system.

    Use our solar panel drawing tool to see how many panels you can fit on your roof

    How much roof space do you need for a 10kW solar system?

    A 10kW solar installation will usually require between 440 and 475 square feet of roof space.

    The actual square footage you need depends on the wattage of the panels you install. The lower the wattage, the more panels you need, which increases the amount of roof space you need.

    Ideally, you would want at least 475 square feet of south-facing roof space to install your panels, as this maximizes the amount of energy the panels will produce.

    Can you install your own 10kW solar system?

    Yes, you can buy DIY solar kits to install a 10kW solar panel array on your own.

    10kW solar DIY kits often sell for between 14,000 and 24,000, which is slightly cheaper than the installed price you would get with a solar company. However, DIY solar can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

    Plus, creating the right system design, including the location of the panels and which solar inverter to choose can be quite challenging. Sometimes, installing panels yourself can even void the warranty on the panels.

    You’ll oftentimes need the help of a solar industry professional or a licensed electrician in order to properly install a DIY system and pass inspections, which can actually cause you to spend more money than if you had just gone with an installer in the first place.

    Finding the right installer for a 10kW solar system

    To find the best installer for your 10kW solar system, you should get multiple quotes from different solar companies. You can then do a solar quote comparison, which will help you get the best price for installing solar panels on your roof.

    Start with local installers with licensed contractors in your area, as they can give you personalized service, and they typically have a good understanding of what incentives are available in your area.

    We make it easy for you to find the best local solar companies and certified contractors in your area, thanks to hundreds of customer reviews and our state-of-the-art solar calculator.

    How much can you save annually by going solar?

    Key takeaways

    • The average 10kW solar system in the U.S. will cost about 21,000 after the federal solar tax credit.
    • 10kW solar systems are usually made of between 25 and 27 solar panels.
    • You will need between 440 and 475 square feet of roof space to accommodate a 10kW solar system.
    • Depending on where you live, a 10kW solar system will produce anywhere from 11,000 to 15,000 kWh per year, which is enough to cover the average American home’s annual energy consumption.
    • Although it varies depending on where you live and your utility, you can save upwards of 1,000 per year with a 10kW solar system.

    Catherine Lane

    Written Content Manager

    Catherine is the Written Content Manager at SolarReviews. She has been researching and writing about the residential solar industry for four years. Her work has appeared in Solar Today Magazine and Solar Builder Magazine, and has been cited by publications like Forbes and Bloomberg.

    Benefits of Residential Solar Electricity

    Solar energy is sustainable, renewable, and plentiful. As the cost of using solar to produce electricity goes down each year, many Americans are increasingly switching to solar. Now, there are over a million solar installations across the country. Below are additional benefits of switching to solar electricity.

    benefits, residential, solar, electricity, system

    Cost Savings

    Financial returns and lower monthly utility bills are major incentives for going solar. The exact savings you will see with solar depends on the following:

    • Electricity consumption
    • Solar energy system size
    • Whether you purchase or lease your system
    • Direct hours of daily sunlight
    • Size and angle of roof
    • Local electricity rates.

    A solar electric system provides an opportunity for anyone who is looking to reduce monthly utility bills and make a long-term, low-risk investment.

    Increased Home Value

    Solar panels are viewed as upgrades, like a renovated kitchen or a finished basement, so purchasing a solar energy system will likely increase your home’s value. Studies show that homeowners pay a premium for a solar home; one study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory showed that on average, solar increased the value of a home by about 15,000. Although market factors like electricity rates and system size may impact the size of the premium, solar homes can sell for more than homes without PV. Learn more about solar and real estate.

    Solar Works Everywhere

    The solar resource of the United States is enormous. In fact, just one hour of noontime summer sun is equal to the annual U.S. electricity demand. Most states in the United States have good-to-excellent solar resource. Even places with relatively low solar resources, such as the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, can experience cost savings, and have similar solar resources to countries that have widely developed solar PV, like Germany.


    Each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar that is generated will substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions like CO2, as well as other dangerous pollutants such as sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. Solar also reduces water consumption and withdrawal.

    ,600 – 26,500 6 to 12 kW system cost installed

    Average cost of solar panels

    The average cost to install solar panels is 10,600 to 26,500 (after 30% tax credit) for a 6kW to 12kW system to power an entire house. Solar panels cost 2.53 to 3.15 per watt installed for residential systems. Solar energy costs 0.08 to 0.10 per kWh to produce on average. The average solar panel payback period is 7 to 12 years. Solar energy saves 600 to 2,000 per year on electricity costs.

    Solar Panel Installation Cost

    National Average Cost
    Minimum Cost
    Maximum Cost
    Average Range 10,600 to 26,500
    • Most solar panels last up to 50 years, have a 25-year warranty, and start generating a return on investment after 8 years.
    • Solar panels generate electricity approximately 30% cheaper than utility electricity over their lifetime.
    • Solar panel savings are 10,000 to 30,000 over 20 years depending on your location and the cost of electricity.

    Use our solar calculators below to assess your total costs, or get free estimates from solar installers near you.

    Solar panel cost calculator

    The average residential solar installation is 3 kW to 10 kW, depending on your home’s size, location, and energy needs.

    The federal solar tax credit reduces your overall costs by 30%. Many states and solar manufacturers offer additional incentives and rebates to further reduce your costs.

    Solar Panel Cost Calculator

    System Size Before Tax Credit After 30% Tax Credit
    2 kW 5,060 – 6,300 3,542 – 4,410
    3 kW 7,590 – 9,540 5,313 – 6,615
    4 kW 10,120 – 12,600 7,084 – 8,820
    5 kW 12,650 – 15,750 8,855 – 11,025
    6 kW 15,180 – 18,900 10,626 – 13,230
    7 kW 17,710 – 22,050 12,397 – 15,435
    8 kW 20,240 – 25,200 14,168 – 17,640
    10 kW 25,300 – 31,500 17,710 – 22,050
    12 kW 30,360 – 37,800 21,252 – 26,460
    15 kW 37,950 – 47,250 26,565 – 33,075
    20 kW 50,600 – 63,000 35,420 – 44,100
    25 kW 63,250 – 78,750 44,275 – 55,125

    How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

    The average family uses 11,000 kWh per year and needs 26 to 33 solar panels to power the whole house. One solar thermal panel generates enough energy to power a hot water heater for a family of four.

    The total number of panels needed depends on your location, roof size, and energy needs. To calculate how many solar panels you need, look at your annual kWh (kilowatt-hours) usage on your utility bills and referenced the table and map below.

    Solar Panels Needed To Power A House

    System Size Panels Needed Average kWh Produced Annually
    2 kW 6 – 8 2,652
    3 kW 10 – 12 3,978
    5 kW 16 – 21 6,630
    6 kW 20 – 25 7,956
    10 kW 33 – 41 13,260
    12 kW 40 – 49 15,912
    15 kW 50 – 61 19,890
    18 kW 59 – 73 23,868

    Table based on 250 watt panels at average solar production ratios of 1.3 to 1.6.

    Your home’s location is a significant factor when estimating how many solar panels you need to power your house. Regions with less sunlight require larger systems to handle 100% of their energy needs.

    • Multiply the number in your shaded region by the estimated size of your system in kW.
    • Then, multiply the result by 0.78 to account for inefficiencies and energy conversion losses.

    For example, if you live in Texas with a score of 1700 and install an 8 kW system, your system will produce approximately 10,608 kWh annually:

    1700 × 8 kW × 0.78 = 10,608 kWh

    The table below shows the approximate system size needed in each region to produce 11,000 kWh for the average home.

    Solar System Size Needed To Produce 11,000 kWh Annually

    Region System Size (kW)
    1200 11.75 kW
    1300 10.85 kW
    1400 10.07 kW
    1500 9.40 kW
    1600 8.81 kW
    1700 8.30 kW
    1800 7.84 kW
    1900 7.42 kW
    2000 7.05 kW
    2100 6.71 kW

    Solar Panel Cost Per Watt

    Residential solar panels cost 2.53 to 3.15 per watt with installation, before any tax credits or incentives. Commercial solar costs 1.06 to 1.83 per watt. Solar systems have ratings based on the electricity produced annually in average conditions.

    Solar Energy Cost Per kWh

    Residential solar energy costs 0.08 to 0.10 per kWh on average, and commercial or utility-scale solar power costs 0.06 to 0.08 per kWh. include the federal solar tax credit and vary drastically based on the amount of sunlight and type of solar panels installed.

    Solar Panel Cost Per Watt kWh

    Unit Residential Commercial
    Per kWh 0.08 – 0.10 0.06 – 0.08
    Per Watt 2.53 – 3.15 1.06 – 1.83

    These figures represent the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE), which is the average revenue per unit of electricity generated that would be required to recover the costs of the solar panels over their life expectancy.

    Cost of Solar Panels Per Square Foot

    The cost of solar panels to power your house are 4 to 10 per square foot with installation. However, most installers estimate solar costs by the amount of energy needed, or 2.53 to 3.15 per watt before any tax credits or incentives.

    Below are cost estimates based on home size. Overall costs depend on the solar panel type, the roof’s size and design, and your energy needs.

    Cost To Install Solar Panels On House

    Home Size (SF) Average Cost
    1,000 4,760 – 5,950
    1,500 7,140 – 8,925
    2,000 9,520 – 11,900
    2,500 11,900 – 14,875
    3,000 14,280 – 17,850

    Residential Cost of Solar Panels By State

    The average cost of solar varies significantly per state, depending on the local cost of electricity. Below are the average per watt and by system size across the United States after subtracting the 30% federal solar tax credit.

    Cost of Solar Panels By State

    State Per Watt 6 kW System 10 kW System
    Alabama 2.02 – 2.85 12,120 – 17,100 20,200 – 28,500
    Alaska 2.23 – 3.13 13,380 – 18,780 22,300 – 31,300
    Arizona 1.88 – 2.35 11,286 – 14,118 18,810 – 23,530
    Arkansas 2.42 – 2.74 14,520 – 16,440 24,200 – 27,400
    California 1.82 – 2.29 10,926 – 13,758 18,210 – 22,930
    Colorado 1.96 – 2.39 11,730 – 14,310 19,550 – 23,850
    Connecticut 1.99 – 2.49 11,994 – 14,994 19,990 – 24,990
    Washington D.C. 1.75 – 2.57 10,518 – 15,450 17,530 – 25,750
    Delaware 1.95 – 2.13 11,742 – 12,810 19,570 – 21,350
    Florida 1.48 – 2.09 8,880 – 12,552 14,800 – 20,920
    Georgia 1.91 – 2.14 11,448 – 12,852 19,080 – 21,420
    Idaho 2.03 – 2.22 12,162 – 13,314 20,270 – 22,190
    Illinois 2.01 – 2.52 12,078 – 15,162 20,130 – 25,270
    Indiana 2.07 – 2.49 12,444 – 14,940 20,740 – 24,900
    Iowa 2.20 – 2.38 13,200 – 14,268 22,000 – 23,780
    Kansas 1.49 – 2.06 8,940 – 12,360 14,900 – 20,600
    Kentucky 2.35 – 3.04 14,100 – 18,240 23,500 – 30,400
    Louisiana 1.77 – 2.33 10,644 – 13,980 17,740 – 23,300
    Maine 1.85 – 2.35 11,100 – 14,100 18,500 – 23,500
    Maryland 1.67 – 2.16 10,026 – 12,942 16,710 – 21,570
    Massachusetts 1.94 – 2.37 11,628 – 14,376 19,380 – 23,960
    Michigan 1.99 – 2.50 11,976 – 14,976 19,960 – 24,960
    Minnesota 2.01 – 2.37 12,000 – 14,244 20,000 – 23,740
    Mississippi 1.98 – 2.75 11,880 – 16,500 19,800 – 27,500
    Missouri 1.71 – 2.42 10,260 – 14,520 17,100 – 24,200
    Montana 1.86 – 2.34 11,148 – 14,064 18,580 – 23,440
    Nebraska 1.74 – 2.88 10,440 – 17,280 17,400 – 28,800
    Nevada 1.92 – 2.13 11,526 – 12,762 19,210 – 21,270
    New Hampshire 1.97 – 2.55 11,796 – 15,300 19,660 – 25,500
    New Jersey 1.76 – 2.35 10,530 – 14,118 17,550 – 23,530
    New Mexico 2.02 – 2.73 12,102 – 16,362 20,170 – 27,270
    New York 1.80 – 2.64 10,824 – 15,840 18,040 – 26,400
    North Carolina 1.73 – 2.27 10,380 – 13,632 17,300 – 22,720
    North Dakota 1.39 – 1.97 8,340 – 11,820 13,900 – 19,700
    Ohio 1.79 – 2.29 10,740 – 13,740 17,900 – 22,900
    Oklahoma 1.88 – 3.34 11,280 – 20,040 18,800 – 33,400
    Oregon 1.63 – 2.20 9,804 – 13,224 16,340 – 22,040
    Pennsylvania 1.80 – 2.60 10,782 – 15,630 17,970 – 26,050
    Rhode Island 2.08 – 2.44 12,492 – 14,652 20,820 – 24,420
    South Carolina 1.92 – 2.38 11,544 – 14,292 19,240 – 23,820
    South Dakota 1.88 – 2.93 11,280 – 17,580 18,800 – 29,300
    Tennessee 1.30 – 1.97 7,800 – 11,820 13,000 – 19,700
    Texas 1.75 – 2.15 10,494 – 12,906 17,490 – 21,510
    Utah 1.83 – 2.41 10,950 – 14,454 18,250 – 24,090
    Vermont 1.79 – 2.58 10,716 – 15,480 17,860 – 25,800
    Virginia 1.69 – 2.11 10,134 – 12,630 16,890 – 21,050
    Washington 1.71 – 2.19 10,278 – 13,110 17,130 – 21,850
    West Virginia 2.17 – 3.38 13,020 – 20,280 21,700 – 33,800
    Wisconson 2.11 – 2.42 12,666 – 14,490 21,110 – 24,150
    Wyoming 2.39 – 2.78 14,340 – 16,680 23,900 – 27,800

    Cost after subtracting the 30% federal tax credit.

    Average Solar Panel Installation Costs By Brand

    Below are total installation costs for 6kW and 10kW residential solar systems by brand after subtracting the 30% tax credit. Most solar manufacturers offer similar pricing. However, the price is typically reflective of panel quality.

    Solar Panel Installation Cost By Brand

    Manufacturer Per Watt 6 kW System 10 kW System
    Axitec 1.57 – 2.10 9,450 – 12,642 15,750 – 21,070
    Astronergy 1.85 – 2.35 11,130 – 14,154 18,550 – 23,590
    Canadian Solar Inc. 1.65 – 2.26 9,954 – 13,566 16,590 – 22,610
    CertainTeed Solar 2.06 – 2.48 12,390 – 14,910 20,650 – 24,850
    Hanwha Q CELLS 1.73 – 2.31 10,416 – 13,860 17,360 – 23,100
    Heliene 1.71 – 2.28 10,290 – 13,692 17,150 – 22,820
    Hyundai 1.87 – 2.14 11,256 – 12,894 18,760 – 21,490
    JA Solar 1.72 – 2.29 10,374 – 13,776 17,290 – 22,960
    JinkoSolar 1.98 – 2.58 11,928 – 15,498 19,880 – 25,830
    LG Solar 1.89 – 2.47 11,340 – 14,868 18,900 – 24,780
    LONGi Solar 1.69 – 2.07 10,164 – 12,474 16,940 – 20,790
    Mission Solar Energy 1.52 – 2.06 9,156 – 12,390 15,260 – 20,650
    Panasonic 1.89 – 2.45 11,340 – 14,700 18,900 – 24,500
    Peimar Group 1.86 – 2.24 11,172 – 13,440 18,620 – 22,400
    Phono Solar 2.10 – 2.49 12,642 – 14,952 21,070 – 24,920
    REC Group 1.92 – 2.32 11,550 – 13,944 19,250 – 23,240
    RGS Energy 2.31 – 3.47 13,860 – 20,874 23,100 – 34,790
    Renogy Solar 2.10 – 2.39 12,642 – 14,364 21,070 – 23,940
    S-Energy 1.77 – 2.35 10,668 – 14,112 17,780 – 23,520
    Seraphim Solar 1.85 – 2.24 11,130 – 13,482 18,550 – 22,470
    Silfab Solar 1.70 – 2.45 10,206 – 14,700 17,010 – 24,500
    SolarTech Universal 1.72 – 2.21 10,374 – 13,272 17,290 – 22,120
    SolarWorld 1.73 – 2.15 10,416 – 12,936 17,360 – 21,560
    Solaria 2.06 – 2.35 12,390 – 14,154 20,650 – 23,590
    SunPower Corporation 2.01 – 2.77 12,096 – 16,674 20,160 – 27,790
    Trina Solar 1.72 – 2.22 10,374 – 13,356 17,290 – 22,260
    Tesla 2.33 – 3.10 13,986 – 18,606 23,310 – 31,010
    Winaico 1.92 – 2.21 11,550 – 13,314 19,250 – 22,190
    Yingli Solar 1.70 – 2.21 10,206 – 13,272 17,010 – 22,120

    include 30% tax credit and reflect installation costs from solar contractors. Total costs depend on the location, installers experience, inverter, and other equipment.

    How Much Does One Solar Panel Cost?

    One 150 to 300-watt solar panel costs 112 to 450 on average or between 0.75 to 1.50 per watt, depending on the panel type, size, and energy-efficiency rating. Solar companies that purchase in bulk typically spend 0.75 per watt, while homeowners spend 1 per watt.

    Most distributors only sell solar panels to local contractors at bulk wholesale prices. Hiring a solar installer will drastically reduce your equipment costs.

    The following table shows for the panels only. Additional installation costs include inverters, batteries, mounting hardware, wiring, and more.

    Solar Panels For Home Cost Per Panel

    System Size Average Cost
    14 Panel System (4.2 kW) 2,600 – 4,200
    16 Panel System (4.8 kW) 3,000 – 4,800
    18 Panel System (5.4 kW) 3,350 – 5,400
    20 Panel System (6.0 kW) 3,750 – 6,000
    24 Panel System (7.2 kW) 4,450 – 7,200
    28 Panel System (8.4 kW) 5,236 – 8,400
    32 Panel System (9.6 kW) 5,984 – 9,600
    36 Panel System (10.8 kW) 6,732 – 10,800

    Solar Panel Lease Cost

    A solar panel lease costs 50 and 250 per month, depending on your location and energy needs. Leasing solar panels is cost-effective and typically saves 50 to 100 per month on your electricity bills with little to no down payment.

    Solar leasing companies are responsible for the installation and maintenance fees for the duration of your contract. If you move, expect to pay additional fees to end your leasing agreement because transferring the lease to another buyer can be difficult.

    If you own a solar system outright that generates 100% of your power, the monthly cost is less than 10 per month for minor grid-tied connection fees. An off-grid system has no monthly costs other than general maintenance.

    Tesla Solar Roof Cost

    A Tesla solar roof costs 22 to 45 per square foot, which includes the solar roof tiles, a Powerwall, roof and site repairs, and complete system installation. A 9.45 kW solar system installed on a 1,800 square foot roof costs between 39,600 and 81,000.

    On average, solar shingles cost up to 8,000 more than installing a new roof with traditional PV solar panels. Glass-faced solar shingles mimic the appearance of a tiled roof and cover more surface area than mounted PV panels to catch more sunlight.

    Solar tiles have a lower efficiency rating than solar panels. They may not last as long as PV panels because their design doesn’t allow much room for ventilation, which can lead to overheating.

    Commercial Solar Panel Cost

    A 10 kW to 2 MW commercial solar panel system costs 1.83 per watt before any tax rebates or incentives. Larger fixed-tilt or one-axis tracking utility-scale systems greater than 2 MW cost 1.06 per watt on average.

    Commercial solar installation costs for small and mid-sized businesses range from 43,000 for a 25 kW system to 175,000 for a 100 kW system. Businesses recover about 45 percent of solar panel costs within the first year through tax credits and rebate programs.

    Commercial Solar Panel Cost

    System Size Average Cost Before Tax Credits
    25 kW 43,500 to 56,000
    50 kW 87,500 to 113,000
    100 kW 175,000 to 225,500
    250 kW 437,000 to 563,500

    Solar Savings Estimator

    The solar payback information below covers the average break-even period, which is when your power supply becomes free, and the projected savings over 20 years.

    Solar Panel Return On Investment (ROI)

    The average solar panel payback period is 7 to 12 years, depending on where you live and the cost of electricity. Upfront costs are 11,000 on average, with savings of 1,400 per year on foregone energy bills. You’ll break even after 8 years and start generating a return on your investment.

    How Much Do Solar Panels Save?

    Over 20 years, solar panel savings range from 10,000 to 30,000, depending on your location and the cost of electricity.

    Solar energy saves 600 to 2,000 per year by reducing your electricity bills and selling your solar renewable energy credits (SRECs).

    Solar Panel Savings Calculator

    Location Savings Over 20 Years Payback Period (Years)
    Albuquerque, NM 17,576 – 25,109 15.06
    Austin, TX 14,627 – 20,896 7.04
    Baltimore, MD 16,349 – 23,356 6.90
    Boston, MA 17,449 – 24,928 9.66
    Charlotte, NC 15,035 – 21,479 8.20
    Chicago, IL 14,591 – 20,844 11.85
    Denver, CO 15,035 – 21,479 13.30
    Honolulu, HI 34,104 – 48,720 6.55
    Houston, TX 14,627 – 20,896 7.57
    Indianapolis, IN 11,637 – 16,625 14.60
    Jersey City, NJ 18,349 – 26,214 9.95
    Las Vegas, NV 13,918 – 19,883 9.05
    Los Angeles, CA 25,414 – 36,306 11.99
    New York, NY 17,247 – 24,639 10.58
    Philadelphia, PA 13,689 – 19,556 9.35
    Phoenix, AZ 18,325 – 26,179 7.50
    Portland, OR 11,351 – 16,216 11.66
    San Francisco, CA 14,700 – 21,000 11.34
    Seattle, WA 6,863 – 12,805 11.26
    Washington, DC 21,840 – 31,200 6.78

    6kW system powering 70% to 100% of your energy needs.

    Here’s a more granular look at solar savings on power bills per year by location.

    Solar Panel Savings On Electricity Bills

    Location Average Savings Per Year
    Albuquerque, NM 1,349
    Austin, TX 782
    Boston, MA 2,196
    Charlotte, NC 805
    Chicago, IL 1,059
    Jersey City, NJ 1,762
    Los Angeles, CA 2,477
    New York, NY 1,404
    Philadelphia, PA 1,006
    Portland, OR 864
    San Francisco, CA 1,822
    Seattle, WA 633
    Washington, DC 1,127

    Are Solar Panels Worth It?

    Solar panels generate electricity approximately 30% cheaper than utility electricity in most locations, making them worth it over their lifetime. The 30% federal solar tax credit and state incentives make solar energy more affordable.

    The average residential electricity rate from utility companies is 16.4 cents per kWh, depending on the location. An 8 kW solar system costs 15,000 and generates 11,000 kWh annually or 880 to 1,100 worth of energy. Over the lifetime of the solar panels, this equates to 8 to 10 cents per kWh, which makes solar panels worth it after the hefty upfront cost.

    Solar Panel Installation Cost Factors

    The cost to convert a house to solar power depends on your location, energy needs, type of solar panels, inverter and equipment options, permits, inspection, tax credits, and labor costs.

    Use the national averages in the following table to calculate a cost-benefit analysis for solar PV installation.

    Cost To Convert House To Solar Power

    Item Percent Average Cost
    Solar Panels, Inverter Parts 30% 3,188 – 3,969
    Balance of System 20% 2,125 – 2,646
    Labor 15% 1,594 – 1,985
    Permits and Inspection 15% 1,594 – 1,985
    Operational 20% 2,125 – 2,646

    Cost of Solar Panels Over Time

    The average cost of solar panels fell 65% from 7.34 per watt in 2010, to 2.53 per watt in 2019 and continues to drop. A standard 6 kW residential solar system has dropped from 44,000 down to 15,200 over the past decade (not including the federal solar tax credit).

    Cost of Solar Panels Over Time

    Year Cost Per Watt
    2010 7.34
    2011 6.44
    2012 4.55
    2013 3.97
    2014 3.49
    2015 3.23
    2016 3.02
    2017 2.84
    2018 2.70
    2019 2.53
    2020 2.34
    2021 2.22

    Estimates are based on the average rate of decline.

    Labor Costs To Install Solar Panels

    The average labor cost to install solar panels is 0.27 per watt, or around 15% of the total system cost. A standard 6 kW system with 20 to 25 panels costs about 1,600 for installation labor before applying the 30% federal solar tax credit.

    Labor costs increase if your home has multiple stories, skylights, dormers, or a problematic 45° roof pitch. Contractors may need to design a unique system to make sure the panels receive enough sunlight to be efficient.

    Solar Panel for AC Unit Calculator: Find How Many for Different AC Sizes

    When you’re looking for a way to use solar power for your air conditioner, having access to a solar panel for AC unit carbon calculator can help you measure the amount of panels you’ll need.

    The best way to find the correct solar panel for AC unit for a residential home or office is to determine the size of the air conditioner and calculate the number of solar panels required for optimal function.

    But, since solar panels come in a number of sizes, and people live in areas where sunlight hours are limited, it can be tricky to measure.

    The best rule of thumb is that for every ‘ton’ of cooling capacity, you’ll need about 1200 watts of solar panels.

    But, it’s important to understand that there are different size ac units, and understand that the solar panel for ac unit measurement for an RV may be able to be powered using 10W panels.

    Keep reading to learn more.

    Solar Powered Air Conditioner

    Traditional air conditioner units are generally expensive to install and use up a lot of electricity, increasing the cost of running these units over time, especially during hot, humid weather.

    A solar-powered air conditioner cuts down on these operating costs by making use of the natural power of the sun. 20 When installing a solar-powered air conditioner, it is not necessary to cover the entire roof of the house or office with solar panels.

    The easiest way to determine how many solar panels are required is the watts usage of the AC unit must be established, the watt output of the panels. For instance, a solar panel for ac unit should produce 300 watts to power a solar ac unit that uses 900 watts. 1

    Hybrid Solar Air Conditioner

    Because solar panels only work when the sun shines directly on them, there is the concern that solar-powered AC units will cease to function when the sun isn’t shining as brightly because of Cloud cover.

    (Image: United States Environmental Protection Agency 20 )

    A hybrid solar air conditioner addresses this problem by operating in two different modes. When sunlight is adequate, the system functions as a direct DC system. During Cloud cover, the system functions as a hybrid DC unit with the help of an inverter. 2

    Portable Solar Air Conditioner

    A portable solar air conditioner is a relatively new invention. They are popular for outdoor use and most models will run for six to eight hours on a single charge.

    If the portable solar air conditioner is used indoors, it can be plugged into an outlet. For outdoor use, a solar panel is included with the unit.

    Off-Grid Solar Air Conditioner

    An off-grid solar air conditioner functions in the same way as off-grid solar power systems for homes and offices. It makes use of solar panels and a PV system, including batteries and inverters, to run the AC unit.

    Best Air Conditioner for Solar Power

    With the noticeable move to greener energy consumption, comes the frequently asked question – what is the best air conditioner for solar power? The below table highlights some of the best air conditioner brands for solar power options in 2022. 3

    Solar AC Brand Features
    SolAir World Offers 100% off-grid systems. SolAir also sells solar panels.
    GREE GREE manufactures one of the most popular hybrid solar air conditioning systems in the world. This unit requires no battery bank. They do not however sell solar panels.
    LEZETi Hybrid Solar AC This brand’s hybrid air conditioner runs directly on DC power when connected to a solar panel. The unit does not require an inverter, backup battery or charge controller.
    Lennox The Dave Lennox Signature Collection air conditioners can all be connected to solar panels for increased energy efficiency.
    HotSpot Energy HotSpot Energy offers hybrid air conditioning units. The company sells hybrid inverters that convert any AC unit into a solar-powered AC unit.

    Solar Panel for AC Unit Breakdown

    The main reason for the ongoing move to solar panels for the powering of AC units, 21 is the renewed effort to maintain greener efficiencies and to cut down on the costs of traditional AC units.

    Solar panels for AC unit installations are increasing in popularity when it comes to smaller homes, condominiums, and even RVs.

    How Many Solar Panels To Run AC Unit?

    There are three different types of solar-powered air conditioners:

    • DC solar air conditioners (Direct current solar air conditioners)
    • AC solar air conditioners (Alternating current solar air conditioners)
    • Combination of grid electricity and solar power

    When it comes to calculating how many solar panels are needed to run the different types of solar-powered air conditioners, it depends on how much power the air conditioner uses.

    As an example – a 100-watt solar AC unit will require anything from one to five solar panels. Since most AC systems use around 1,200 watts, the required number of solar panels is 5.

    Read About : Solar Panel Carbon Offsets: A Greener Way to Go Solar

    Portable Solar Powered Air Conditioner

    A portable solar-powered air conditioner needs batteries and solar panels as well.

    For a 5,000 BTU portable AC unit, 800 watts of grounded solar panels and 4 100-amp hour lithium phosphate batteries are required. 4

    Solar Panels for AC Unit

    To calculate the number of solar panels for AC unit to function efficiently, the following factors should be considered:

    • Desired solar panel size
    • The estimated times that the air conditioner will be in use
    • Whether extra batteries will be required
    • The surge number and power required by the AC unit
    • Required kilowatts of the AC unit
    • Energy generated by each solar panel

    Before any calculations are made, the following information must be noted:

    • Air conditioner wattage (consumption per hour)
    • How many hours per AC unit will be running
    • The cost of electricity per AC unit

    The average air conditioning unit watt usage is indicated in the below table:

    Size of AC Unit Watt Usage
    Small unit 500 watts
    Medium unit 800 – 1000 watts
    Window unit 1,440 watts
    Mid-sized unit 2,800 – 3,000 watts
    Large unit 3,800 – 4,100 watts

    The most common air conditioning units and the number of solar panels required to power them are indicated as follows: 5

    Air Conditioning Unit Number of Solar Panels Required
    Central air 30 x 100W solar panels
    Large window unit 20 x 10W solar panels
    Medium window unit 10 x 10W solar panels
    Small window units 5 x 10W solar panels

    It is also essential to calculate the total solar power required to offset all electrical appliances. 18 The following example is the offset for a 6,000-kW household:

    Solar Powered Air Conditioner Window Unit

    Solar-powered air conditioner window units come in small, medium, and large-size options.

    Solar Power for Window AC Unit

    Solar power for window AC unit has different requirements when it comes to the number of solar panels needed to make them function properly.

    The number of solar panels required also depends on the size of the room that needs cooling. An example of this is as follows: A 5,000 – 6,000 BTU window AC unit would work well for a 250 to 350 square feet bedroom. The calculation to determine the number of solar panels required for this size bedroom looks like this:

    Window AC unit of 5,000 – 6,000 BTU uses around 500 watts an hour and would require 900 – 1000 watts of solar power. The required solar power can be obtained from 3 x 300-watt or 4 x 250-watt solar panels.

    How Many Solar Panels To Run Window Air Conditioner?

    Window AC units have power ratings assigned to them to simplify the calculation of the number of solar panels required. The power ratings are usually indicated as follows: 6

    AC Unit (Window) Rating
    GE 6000 BTU 535 watts
    Frigidaire 5000 BTU 450 watts
    LG 6000 BTU 520 watts
    Haier 6000 BTU 455 watts

    Therefore, to calculate the number of solar panels needed to run an air conditioner is determined by the watts required by the window AC unit, the production of watts per solar panel, and the efficiency of each solar panel.

    This calculation is laid out in the following table. But remember, that running an ac unit will need to account for surge, which means that you can estimate about four times the number of solar panel for ac unit listed.

    AC Unit Watts per hour Number of panels (10W)
    Central Air 3,000 – 5,000 30 – 50
    Large Unit 1,800 – 2,500 18 – 25
    Medium Unit 1,000 – 1,800 10 – 18
    Small Unit 500 – 1,000 5 – 10

    DIY Solar Powered Window Air Conditioner

    There is also the option of a DIY solar-powered window air conditioner. 17 Setting up a DIY window AC unit requires the following:

    • Determining how much energy a portable air conditioning unit consumes
    • Evaluating the output of different solar panels
    • Determining the number of solar panels to run the portable AC unit
    • Determining the battery needs for a rechargeable portable AC unit
    • Determining the type of solar charge controller and inverter required.
    • Performance testing

    If the portable AC unit is determined to require 0.335kW an hour, and a 100-watt solar panel generates at least 0.554kW/hours of energy per day, 1x 100-watt panel will be required for every hour the AC unit is running. 7

    Solar Panels for AC

    Solar thermal systems are also used for cooling purposes. Solar thermal systems harness the heat of the sun to power the refrigeration process in an AC unit. 8

    Can a 100-Watt Solar Panel Run a Air Conditioner?

    While a 100-watt solar panel can produce an average of 500 Watt-hours per day, it cannot run an air conditioner.

    Solar Panel for AC Unit: Estimated Power Use

    However, if the 100-watt solar panel for AC unit is connected to a large battery, it is technically possible for a 5,000 BTU air conditioner to run for at least 1 hour on the energy that is provided by the solar panel. This is not advised, however.

    The following table indicates the estimated amount of solar power required to run different AC units for 8 hours per day: 9

    AC Unit Capacity Estimated Solar Power Required Over 8 Hours (Watts)
    5,000 BTUs 500 Watts
    8,000 BTUs 900 Watts
    12,000 BTUs (1 ton) 1400 Watts
    18,000 BTUs (1.5 tons) 2000 Watts
    24,000 BTUs (2 tons) 2800 Watts
    36,000 BTUs (3 tons) 4000 Watts
    48,000 BTUs (4 tons) 5500 Watts
    60,000 BTUs (5 tons) 7000 Watts

    How Many Solar Panels To Run 1.5 HP Air Conditioner?

    Considering that a 1.5HP AC unit equals around 1100W, and factoring in sun hours in the given area and how long the AC unit will be running, it would take about 4 solar panels to run the unit for a couple of hours.

    The number of panels will increase with the number of hours and depends on the orientation and layout of the house or building. 10

    Solar Panel for AC Unit Factors

    Several factors influence the efficiency of solar panels, which is why most of the figures are estimated when calculating the required number of solar panels for different AC units. These factors include:

    • The angle of the solar panel
    • The type of solar panel
    • The climate and weather conditions, and the environment.
    • The age of the solar panel
    • The installation of the solar panel

    Read About : Carbon Footprint: Solar Panel Manufacturing In 1 Simple Explanation

    How Many AC Can Run on 10kw Solar System?

    A 10kW solar system produces around 11,000 – 15,000 kilowatt hours of electricity on an annual basis. As is the case with all solar panels, those installed in states that get a lot of sun will produce more electricity.

    This type of system will cover the energy usage of an average American household every year, depending on the energy consumption average per state.

    A 10kW solar system generally requires 37 solar panels and can power a total of 2 AC units and other appliances at the same time. 11

    How Many Solar Panels To Run a 5000 BTU Air Conditioner?

    The generally estimated watts required to run a 5000 BTU AC unit for 8 hours a day is 400 – 600. Calculating the exact amount of required solar power depends on sunlight per day and the energy usage of the unit itself.

    For instance, if a 5000 BTU AC unit uses 3000 Wh of energy every day, a solar system would have to produce 3 kWh of energy per day. The number of solar panels required to generate 3 kWh per day is directly related to sunlight that reaches the solar panels.

    Solar panels are rated under Solar Irradiance conditions which are measured in W/m² (Watts per square meter). Standard Solar Irradiance for testing is 1000 W/m², therefore a 100 Watt solar panel generates 100 Watts of power when it receives 1000 W/m² of sunlight.

    However, because the sun’s power ebbs and flows with the seasons and the climate, it is best to estimate the sunlight energy using historical data. If a city or area receives an average of 6.54 peak sun hours per day, the following calculation applies:

    System Rating (Watts) = Energy Production (Wh) ÷ Peak Sun Hours

    System Rating (Watts) = 3000 Wh ÷ 6.54 Peak Sun Hours

    System Rating (Watts) = 458.7 Watts

    This means that the number of solar panels installed must produce around 500 Watts to run a 5000 BTU AC unit. 12, 19

    How Many Solar Panels To Run 2 Ton Air Conditioner?

    Around 10, 325 Watt, solar panels are required to run a 2-ton AC for around 8 hours. The below table indicates the solar panels needed for different run times:

    Run Time Power Usage PV Plant Size
    2 hours 4 kWh 800 Watt
    5 hours 10 kWh 2 kW
    8 hours 16 kWh 3.2 kW
    12 hours 24 kWh 4.8 kW
    20 hours 40 kWh 8 kW
    24 hours 48 kWh 9.6 kW

    How Many Solar Panels To Run 3 Ton Air Conditioner?

    It would require around 15, 325 Watt solar panels to run a 3-ton air conditioner for 8 hours a day and around 22, 325 Watt, solar panels to run the AC for 12 hours a day.

    The below table indicates the solar panels needed for different run times:

    Run Time Power Usage PV Plant Size
    2 hours 6 kWh 1.2 kW
    5 hours 15 kWh 3 kW
    8 hours 24 kWh 4.8 kW
    12 hours 36 kWh 7.2 kW
    20 hours 60 kWh 12 kW
    24 hours 72 kWh 14.4 kW

    How Many Solar Panels To Run a 4-Ton AC Unit?

    A 4-ton AC unit would require at least 20, 325 Watt, solar panels to run for 8 hours per day, whereas to run the unit for 12 hours a day, a minimum of 30, 325 Watt, solar panels would be required.

    The below table indicates the solar panels needed for different run times:

    Run Time Power Usage PV Plant Size
    2 hours 8 kWh 1.6 kW
    5 hours 20 kWh 4 kW
    8 hours 32 kWh 6.4 kW
    12 hours 48 kWh 9.6 kW
    20 hours 80 kWh 16 kW
    24 hours 96 kWh 19.2 kW

    How Many Solar Panels To Run 5 Ton AC Unit?

    At least 25, 325 Watt, solar panels are required to run a 5-ton AC unit for 8 hours a day, whereas to run the unit for 12 hours a day, a minimum of 37, 325 Watt, solar panels are needed.

    The below table indicates the solar panels needed for different run times: 13

    Run Time Power Usage PV Plant Size
    2 hours 10 kWh 2 kW
    5 hours 25 kWh 5 kW
    8 hours 40 kWh 8 kW
    12 hours 60 kWh 12 kW
    20 hours 100 kWh 20 kW
    24 hours 120 kWh 24 kW

    Solar Powered Air Conditioner for Shed

    Solar-powered air conditioners can also be utilized for outdoor spaces such as sheds. Shed solar-powered AC units allow for workshop spaces, and as such, they can be located anywhere on the property without being limited by distance from the main house or building.

    Solar Panel for AC Unit

    The type of solar panel for AC unit used in sheds is a photovoltaic panel that is permanently fixed to the roof. 22 Along with solar panels, the shed solar system will also require a charge controller, inverter, fuse box, and batteries.

    It is important to note that the shed’s roof must be large enough to add several solar panels. 14

    Solar Powered AC Unit for Camping

    Camping in the US is synonymous with RVs. Solar-powered AC units can be run via an RV as well using the same solar system that provides power to the TV and other electronics.

    Solar Powered Air Conditioner for Camping

    Adding a solar-powered air conditioner to an RV for camping purposes must include the consideration of the overall power usage and the size of the RV battery bank. The inverter must supply enough power to run the AC for a specified number of hours.

    Portable Solar Powered Air Conditioner Camping

    There are several options when choosing a portable solar-powered air conditioning unit while camping. These include:

    • Portable solar-powered room air conditioners
    • Roof-top tent air conditioners
    • Evaporative coolers
    • Swamp coolers
    • Dual hose cooler units

    How Many Solar Panels To Run an RV Air Conditioner?

    In general, a 15,000 BTU RV AC unit needs 3,500 Watts to start up and requires 1,500 Watts while running. The solar panels collecting sun rays and sending them to the battery bank will need to provide at least 1,500 Watts of power. This totals a minimum of 9, 200W solar panels.

    Solar Air Conditioner

    Solar air conditioners and solar-powered air conditioners are often mixed up, however, they are two different technologies.

    A solar air conditioner is a solar thermal system that requires a solar thermal panel to activate the refrigerant in the AC unit. A solar-powered air conditioner requires PV panels, batteries, and inverters to power the system and keep it going when there is no adequate sunlight.

    Solar Powered Air Conditioner Prices

    The average cost of installing solar panels in the US, without energy storage, is around 3,060 per kilowatt. This equates to around 15,300 for a 5 kW system and around 30,600 for a 10 kW system.

    The federal tax credit will lower this estimated cost, however, and additional incentives may be applicable depending on location. 15

    Disadvantages of Solar Air Conditioner

    There are some disadvantages to solar air conditioner systems. These include the following:

    • Solar air conditioners cost more than traditional AC units
    • Solar air conditioners require a lot of maintenance
    • Some climates are not ideal for solar air conditioners
    • Some solar air conditioners are complicated to install
    • Solar air conditioners are not widely available, compared to traditional AC units. 16

    Aside from these disadvantages, solar power air conditioning units offer reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced electricity expenses, far fewer power outages and 100% off-the-grid options.

    Using the above-mentioned calculations and methods to install solar-powered air conditioning options and find the best solar panel for AC unit options will go a long way in highlighting the advantages of solar-powered air conditioners, which outweigh the disadvantages.

    Solar Panel Air Conditioner, How Do They Work?

    Solar panel air conditioner systems work by connecting the solar thermal panel to the condenser unit and allowing the sun’s power to drive the refrigerant in the AC unit.

    Solar Powered AC for Car?

    It is possible to power a car’s AC system with a PV panel and battery system that powers the motor that drives the compressor. A charge controller mu?st be included to prevent PV panel energy loss.

    Solar Powered Air Conditioner for Car?

    Newer model cars have built-in PV panels on the roof to facilitate solar powered air conditioner systems. These cars include Toyota Prius Plug-in, Nissan Leaf, Hyundai/Kia, Audi A8 and Fisker Ocean.

    benefits, residential, solar, electricity, system

    Solar Powered Air Conditioner for Van?

    The compact Bluetti AC200 system is popularly used for vans and RVs as it allows the AC unit to run all day.

    Carbon Footprint: Solar Panel Manufacturing In 1 Simple Explanation

    Solar Panel for AC Unit Calculator: Find How Many for Different AC Sizes


    1 Solespire Media Inc. (2022). 5 Fast Facts About Solar-Powered Air Conditioning. The Pinnacle List. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from

    2 Pros and Cons of Solar-Powered Air Conditioners. (2020, July 27). Green Builder. Retrieved October 17, 2020, from

    3 Buyer’s Guide: Best Solar-Powered AC Units of 2022. (2021, July 30). EcoWatch. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from

    4 How Many Batteries and Solar to Run a 5,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner? (2021, September 26). Boondocker’s Bible. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from

    6 How Many Solar Panels Are Needed To Run A Window AC? (2022). SolarInfoWorld. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from

    7 DIY Solar Powered Air Conditioner | Solar Powered Portable AC Unit. (2022, October 14). Solar Empower. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from

    8 How Solar-Powered Air Conditioning Works. (2022, June 15). ConsumerAffairs. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from

    10 How Many Solar Panels To Run 1.5 HP Air Conditioner? The Beginners Guide. (2022). rvlibrary. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from

    12 How Many Solar Panels To Run 5000 BTU AC? A Complete Guide With Examples. (2021, December 26). Renewablewise. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from

    13 How Many Solar Panels Are Needed To Run AC [1,1.5,2, 3,4 5Ton]. (2021, May 2). PAYPERWATT. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from

    14 Is A Solar Shed Worth It? Learn About Costs And Installation. (2022, May 25). Forbes Home. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from

    15 Solar Powered Air Conditioning Basics: Costs What You Need to Know. (2022, February 17). Home Remodeling Costs Guide. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from

    16 5 Solar Air Conditioner Disadvantages: What You Need to Know. (2022, August 26). Discover Solar Power. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from

    17 ENERGY.GOV. (2022). Air Conditioning. Energy Saver. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from

    18 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (2022). The Future of Solar Energy. MITei. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from

    19 Solar Energy Development Environmental Considerations. (2022). Solar Energy Development Programmatic EIS. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from

    20 United States Government. (2022, September 6). Solar Heating and Cooling Technologies. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from

    21 University of Michigan. (2022). Photovoltaic Energy Factsheet. Center for Sustainable System. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from

    22 U.S. Department of Energy. (2022). Solar Photovoltaic Technology Basics. NREL. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from

    Solar Panel Size Weight: A Comprehensive Guide

    Have you ever wondered how big solar panels are? Solar panel size range in a variety of sizes, factors such as solar cell type, total wattage and the type of panel all affect the overall size.

    In this article we are going to lay down the foundation and give you all the factors that dictate solar panel size weight. Additionally, we have created tables which give you examples of solar panel size based on wattage and solar cell type.

    How Big Are Standard Solar Panels?

    Standard residential solar panels, the ones you would have installed onto your homes roof, measure on average 65 inches by 39 inches, or 5.4 feet by 3.25 feet, covering an area of 15 square feet. There are slight measurement variations depending on the solar panel’s manufacturer. For large scale solar installations like the ones built onto warehouses you could expect solar panels to measure up to 6 feet (these are known as commercial solar panels). To understand solar panel size, you need to first understand the general makeup of the panel. Solar panels are made up of smaller individual solar photovoltaic (PV) cells. PV cells always come in the same standard size:156 mm by 156 mm, which is approximately 6 inches long and 6 inches wide. The majority of small scale solar installations, like the ones you are likely to get on your home, are made up of 60 solar cells. Commercial solar installations on the other hand, are made up of 72 cells, and can go up to 98 cells or more.

    Solar panel size. residential and commercial panels

    Average Length (inches) 65 78
    # of Solar Cells 60 72
    Average Width (inches) 39 39
    Average Depth (inches) 1.5. 2 1.5. 2

    Essentially, the number of cells found in a solar panel is directly responsible for its length. See below a comparison of residential panels VS commercial panels: Most setups, whether residential or commercial usually do not comprise of a singular solar panel. So what sort of measurements are we looking at with a full blown solar installation, say something like a 10 kW solar system? Let’s assume you use 34 average sized solar panels each with a 300 watt power rating and stack them up vertically next to one another making two rows of 17 panels each. Your 10 kW solar system will measure 55,25 feet by 10.8 feet, covering a total of 596 square feet. Of course, these overall measurements assume that you place each said panel closely next to one another, leaving minimal space in between each panel. In reality however, you will need factor in slightly more area, as you need to take into consideration the unique shape/orientation of your roof.

    What is the Average Area of a Single Solar Panel?

    Therefore, the average area of a modern single solar panel measures 17,6 square feet.

    What Factors Determine Solar Panel Size?

    When it comes to the factors that determine solar panel size, you need to consider the following criteria:

    Solar Panel Type

    As you may well be aware by now, solar panels come in 3 main different types: monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin-film.

    Each one of these different types have their own unique advantages/disadvantages.

    Here is a quick table to give you a basic understanding of the differences:

    Solar panel type dictates size because of the different materials used inside each of them.

    For example, monocrystalline and polycrystalline both use cells made of silicon wafers.

    However, the composition of silicon in each type of solar panel varies.

    Monocrystalline solar cells are always cut from a single, pure crystal of silicon.

    Whereas polycrystalline solar cells are made up of smaller fragments of silicon crystals (which are melted together in a mould before being cut into sheets of wafers).

    This difference in composition/makeup of the solar cells themself create slight inefficiencies.

    In this case, monocrystalline solar panels are more efficient than polycrystalline solar panels and because of this vary in size.

    Take for example two solar panels capable of producing the exact same wattage (take note of the difference in size):

    Monocrystalline solar panel dimensions weight – 365 watt

    Polycrystalline solar panel dimensions weight – 365 watt

    • Dimensions: 2000 mm x 992 mm x 35 mm. Area = 6.56 x 3,25 = 21,32 square feet
    • Weight: 49 pounds

    Clearly solar panel type has an affect (albeit small in the case of mono vs poly) on the overall size of the solar panel, the more efficient the makeup, the less big the actual panel needs to be.

    Solar panel wattage

    Solar panels are made up of series of single solar cells, all of which are connected in parallel circuits to form the entire solar panel.

    Of course, the higher the solar panel wattage, the more solar cells it needs to achieve that rating.

    So ultimately, the more wattage a solar panel produces, the more solar cells it will require. Thus, the bigger the overall panel size.

    Are Solar Panels Too Heavy for A Roof?

    Let us assume you are installing an average residential solar system on to your roof.

    The average weight of a 365 watt monocrystalline solar panel is 45 pounds.

    To establish a 10 kW system you will need a total of 28 solar panels mounted on top of your roof.

    We know that one 365 watt solar panel weighs 45 pounds and takes up an area of 20,7 square feet.

    Therefore, 28 solar panels will take up an area of 580 square feet and will weigh a total of 1260 pounds.

    1260 pounds ÷ by 580 square feet = 2.17 pounds per square foot. When you take into account mounting equipment, you can raise the weight per square foot to about 3.5 pounds.

    This means a 10 kW solar system (with mounting equipment) will weigh 3.5 pound per square feet.

    A modern roof with concrete or clay tiles should be able to support 27 pounds per square foot.

    As you can see by these calculations, a 10 kW solar system should have little to no affect on your homes roof, that is, your roof is strong enough to support some of the biggest types of solar panels.

    (Please note, our advice should not take the place of a professional solar installation company.)

    Here’s another video: What would happen if all the houses were covered with solar panels?

    How Much Weight Do Solar Panels Add to a Roof?

    This all depends on what sort of solar system you are looking to install onto your roof.

    Let us assume you want to install a 5 kW, 10 kW or 15 kW solar system onto your residential home.

    First things first, you need to distinguish hoe many watts make up a kW.

    The calculation is easy, 1000 watts makes 1 kW. Therefore, you simply have to times the kW by 1000 to figure out the total wattage.

    To understand how much weight solar panels add to our roof, we need to decide on what wattage solar panel we want to install. The average residential solar panel produce 300. 420 watts.

    For this example let us use a 365 watt solar panel, we already know that they weigh about 45 pounds per panel.

    The calculation is as follows: 5000 watt ÷ by 365 watt panel means you will need 14x 365 watt solar panels to make a 5 kW system 14 solar panels x 45 pounds = 630 pounds.

    • 5 kW solar system will add 630 pounds to your roof.
    • 10 kW solar system will add 1,260 pounds to your roof.
    • 15 kW solar system will add 1,845 pounds to your roof.

    (Please note, these amounts do not include mounting equipment.)

    Examples of Solar Panel Sizes

    Average size of solar panels



    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *